Cheryl Fergison discusses Kettering pantomime

Cheryl Fergison as Malevolent in Beauty and the Beast
Cheryl Fergison as Malevolent in Beauty and the Beast

The one thing you can guarantee when you see the pantomime at Kettering, Cheryl Fergison will be endlessly entertaining.

Playing the villainous Malevolent in Beauty and the Beast at the Lighthouse, the star best known for her role as Heather Trott in Eastenders. She is looking forward to being bad.

Cheryl said: “Being known in Eastenders as the nice one, it’s great to show people that you can do something else. It is great for an actor to play a baddie, you get to do things like making children cry.

“I’ve seen people so wicked, panto is where you get young people to become theatre goers. They are the future. You want to make sure that they get the story and you want them to go, when I was five I went and saw this pantomime, she was scary.

“It’s nice to wear good make up, have glittery costumes but I always keep a headband. There’s a little bit of Heather in my character.”

But what does Cheryl find the biggest challenge doing the show.

He said: “The challenge for me is getting through three shows a day. I’ll be doping Groundhog Day, you do the first one you get the reaction.

“You can’t do half rations, you can’t get away with it. I can’t bear it.

“It costs quite a bit for a family to see it, they might have saved up to do, and it’s their family treat and why would anybody not give it everything knowing that. We’ve got to go out and do our very best.”

And she has fond memories of her time in Albert Square despite leaving four years ago.

“I had an amazing time and keep in touch with people. It was a fun time, it was hard work. I know people say it was a family atmosphere but it was. In a way, I saw my soap family more than I did my own family. I had a laugh every day, where as an actor to be able to play so many different emotions you have to different shows. But you can play one characters with a gamut of emotions.

“It was quite rigorous. You can be in from 7am to 7pm or 8pm. You may need to know 25 to 35 scenes in a day. If you are on two and three scene, you just be enthusiastic. There’s no rehearsal. You run the scene and it is a multi- camera taking different angles.

“The rule is if you have been seen to die, then you can’t come back. That’s the rule.

“I would love to go back as Heather’s twin sister who’s Scottish and called Leather Trott.”

Beauty and the Beast runs from Saturday December 10 to Monday January 2 with performances taking place at a variety of times throughout the run.

For further information about the pantomime or to book tickets in advance call the box office on 01536 414141 or online at www.lighthousetheatre.co.uk.